Unlike, say, the RainCommander RC1200, the Toro EC-Xtra 8 Zone is a sprinkler timer that isn't a smart device. However, it monitors temperature, rainfall, and solar radiation, and can be programmed to maximize water efficiency, create watering schedules, and manage the system automatically. It will store all programming in its memory for up to 5 years. The Toro has Automatic Circuit Protection for when it detects valve failure. You can water on specific days, delay the operation of well pumps or master control valves from 2 to 60 seconds, and set the length of watering from 1 minute to 6 hours. With Seasonal Adjust, the watering schedule can be decreased during cool months and increased during hot months without having to reprogram.
One selling point of the American dream is the house with the green lawn. However, much water is wasted on it. Most lawns need only an inch of water per week rather than a daily watering. Oftentimes water lands on sidewalks and driveways, or ends up in the gutters. Automated sprinklers can help, but as anyone who walks through suburbia knows, there is still much water that is lost. Smart sprinklers curb this issue by keeping tabs on plant, soil and nozzle types and amount of sun exposure, such as with the Rachio Smart Sprinkler 1st Generation. Using a phone or computer allows you to see how the water is being used and where it's going, and to adjust remotely rather than having to wait until you get home.
The Toro offers options such as a Rain-Freeze Shut-Off that automatically stops watering when it rains or freezes, scheduling software that recommends ideal frequency and duration of watering schedules, and a module to expand to 10 zones. The wireless weather sensor, which is made to work with the indoor timer, has a range of up to 500 feet, and can be mounted onto a rain gutter or unblocked wall or fence. Note that this unit lacks a sleek touchscreen like the one found on the Hydrawise 12 Zone. Instead, there are push buttons and a turn dial for manual control. Installation should be relatively easy with the snap-in wire connectors. Included are the timer, sensor mounting hardware, transformer, and an instruction manual.
The unit works great. The weather station stops irrigation when it rains and adjusts the seasonal adjustment perfectly.
Works perfect...Easy to change settings...Awesome product. You can adjust at the rain sensor the amount of rain to switch off the unit for 1 or more days.
The smart pod does not work...finally got it programmed and then realized that the program was repeating itself...I am so frustrated with all of the time I've wasted.
The software portion of this product is buggy...average temperatures were definitely incorrect for my area the sensor does not work properly.